Channel Cat Water Taxi reopens with new feature

Local News

Rides on the Channel Cat Water Taxi will be available again just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Starting 9 a.m. on Friday, passengers can begin riding the water taxi at all four Channel Cat sites.

The Channel Cat has been running as a transportation and tourism service since 1995.

This year’s water taxi experience across the Mississippi River will include a historical twist.

MetroLINK held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to honor its new QC PastPort website and mobile app in conjunction with the taxi system opening.

The QC PastPort project offers an educational experience for passengers this summer by highlighting historical stops along the route.

Passengers can download the Channel Cat app on their phone to launch the PastPort page, which will navigate their water taxi journey with an immersive look into history along the Mississippi River.

The individuals behind the introduction of this new feature explained how Quad Citizens are surrounded by rich history, adding that the QC PastPort initiative helps to showcase the culture and experiences that shaped the community into what it is today.

Each of the four sites along the taxi path will share stories ranging from the Rock Island Military Arsenal to Native Americans in the QC and more.

“We’ll talk about businesses, for sure. Some of our very early businesses that got the whole community started, and about the various cultures,” said Linda Anderson, research assistant and spokesperson for QC PastPort. “The various immigrants who came here, and what they brought to our community.”

The PastPort sites will stretch across Moline, Davenport and Bettendorf, encouraging Channel Cat Passengers to bridge the gap between each city as they learn and explore the diverse history of each community that helps to make up the Quad Cities.

“This will kind of bring a lot of that history to one place, and I think it’ll help all of the Quad Cities,” said Anderson. “I think it’s a good way to have people go from place to place when they come to visit.”

Rock Island resident Natalie Linville-Mass says the Channel Cat is something the whole family can enjoy.

“It’s exciting because you’re on a boat, and that’s something that not everybody gets to do, and it’s not that expensive to do,” said Linville-Mass. “It’s something that I brought my kids on from a very early age.”

Linville-Mass emphasizes the importance of experiencing local landmarks firsthand.

“The Mississippi is historic … it’s huge … and we need to be able to celebrate that. It’s a main attraction whenever any of my friends or relatives come here,” said Linville-Mass. “You’re at the place where it happened, and I think that’s really important. It’s really important that you can be there and experience what’s going on, and then to be able to hear from somebody that had something to do with that place is really a big deal.”

This year’s Channel Cat schedule is here.

Follow the Channel Cat Water Taxi on Facebook for updates.

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